This is Miss Moonshine, and if you didn’t know any better you’d probably bet good money that it was an original mahogany speedboat from the golden age of the 1920s.
In actual fact, Miss Moonshine was designed by Kevin Fitzke of Minnesota-based Fitzke Boatworks, and he’s taking pre-orders now with only two hull numbers being sold per year starting in the summer of 2024
Kevin Fitzke is a name that may be familiar to you if you’re fan of classic runabouts or a longtime reader of Silodrome. We featured his handbuilt speedboat BugBite on the site back in 2019, and since then he’s been keeping himself busy.
Fitzke went and mentored under renowned naval architect, Michel Berryer, who designed 25 years worth of stunning watercraft for American boat builders Van Dam in Boyne City, Michigan. Working under Berryer, Fitzke learned the fundamentals of hull design, hydrodynamics, and specialized CAD design.
Having now returned to helm Fitzke Boatworks, Kevin has been hard at work on his newest boat – a blank slate design influenced by the work of icons like John Hacker and George Crouch. He named his new design Miss Moonshine, a reference to the Prohibition era that became a golden age of mahogany speedboats and racing.
Meet Miss Moonshine
Miss Moonshine measures in at 23′ long with a beam of 6’1″ and a running surface of 19.5′. It’s powered by a modified GM 350 cubic inch V8 mounted amidships and sending its 320 bhp back through a single centrally-mounted propeller with a rubber mounted aft.
The hull is handmade from cold-moulded laminated African mahogany and double planked cold-molded Honduran mahogany for the sides and deck using isotropic construction. It has a triple planked cold-molded African mahogany bottom and unusually for a boat of this size it has a bow thruster for easy docking.
The cockpit is all made by hand with tuck and roll upholstery, classic wood-rimmed steering wheel, and an engine-turned dashboard fitted with custom gauges inspired by mechanical watches. The design of the cockpit area was inspired by Pre-WWII Grand Prix cars and it shows in all the fine details.
Miss Moonshine can seat up to four people however it’s ideal for two adults, or perhaps two adults and a couple of children. Each example will come with its own custom canvas cover and a custom trailer for launching, retrieving, and transportation.
Kevin explains that thanks to the use of modern boat building techniques including epoxy cold molding, the hull requires a minimum of maintenance, certainly nothing like the simpler woods hulls of the original boats from the 1920s.
A 1:4 scale model of Miss Moonshine has already been completed and you can see images of it below. Kevin used this for testing and final prototyping, it’s fitted with an electric drivetrain which also allowed hull testing to take place.
The production of the first full scale version is currently underway at Fitzke Boatworks in Minnesota and Kevin is now taking orders for the first production examples which will be available for delivery in the summer of 2024.
If you’d like to read more about Miss Moonshine and Fitzke Boatworks, or enquire about placing an order, you can visit their website here.
The images below are of the 1:4 scale model that was built for testing.
Images courtesy of Kevin Fitzke + Fitzke Boatworks
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.